Tories pretend to be factchecking service during leaders' debate – The Guardian, Google News

The rebranded CCHQ Twitter account.

The rebranded CCHQ Twitter account. Photograph: Twitter

TheConservativeshave been accused of misleading the public after they rebranded their official Twitter account as “factcheckUK” during the televised leaders’ debate and used it to publish anti-labor posts.

The public have increasingly turned to factchecking websites, such as the independent Full Fact, the BBC’s Reality Check, Channel 4 News’ FactCheck andthe Guardian’s Factcheck, to verify claims made by politicians.

During Tuesday night’s debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, the Conservative party renamed their main media account as “factcheckUK”, changed its logo to hide its political origins, and used it to push pro-Conservative material to the public.

A tweet from the Conservative party press account, relabelled as factcheckUK
A tweet from the Conservative party press account, relabelled as factcheckUK Photograph: CCHQ

Although the (Twitter) handle remained as @CCHQPress, all other branding was changed to resemble an independent factchecking outlet, meaning it may not have been immediately apparent to an individual who saw the account’s tweets in their feed that it was a product of Conservative party HQ.

On clicking through, they would have seen a disclaimer that factcheckUK was “fact checking Labor from CCHQ”, ”the acronym for Conservative campaign headquarters.

Shortly after the debate finished the Twitter account name was changed from factcheckUK to CCHQ Press.

Full Fact, which is run by a charity, said it had complained to Twitter and said the account should not be allowed to be used in this way while verified. “It is inappropriate and misleading for the Conservative press office to rename their Twitter account‘ factcheckUK ’during this debate. Please do not mistake it for an independent fact checking service. ”

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